Murals explained by speaker

On Tuesday, students and faculty found solace from the cold rain at a presentation detailing Irish murals that took place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in Mabee 100.?

The presentation, titled “Widening the Frame: The Politics of Representing Northern Irish Murals,” was delivered by Kathryn Conrad, an associate professor at the University of Kansas.

Erin Joyce, acting director of the International Studies Program, said peace in Ireland is at best indefinite.

“I think that Northern Ireland is an interesting place,” she said. “It seems we take one step forward and two steps backward in terms of peace.”

The violence has been between two groups: the Loyalists (those recognizing the ties between Great Britain and Ireland) and the Nationalists (those recognizing Northern Ireland as an independent state), Conrad said.?Because of the violence, communities have been separated with walls.?Both groups create murals on walls and buildings in their areas, to mark territory and state political views, she said.

In her trips to Northern Ireland, Conrad photographed the murals of both groups, and said they have profound meaning politically.

“(Murals are powerful) because they’re big and they’re everywhere,” Conrad said. “There’s something to look at in an otherwise dismal landscape. It also depends on the mural too.? A 6 foot machine gun has a pretty powerful impact.”